Notes From A Snow-Covered Valley (Part 1)

Lauterbrunnen Valley

These notes were originally written during a trip to Switzerland in March 2008, and then posted here shortly afterwards. That post has now been deleted and the notes reformatted into two parts to make them more reader-friendly.

Monday

10h19gmt So now I get to put my iPod touch to good use. On my last trip I wrote my notes with pen and paper. This time though I can write them on my iPod and then email them to myself to upload later. Brilliant! Currently sat in the departure lounge at the Airport. Not feeling nervous at all this time. I know what to expect. I’m actually looking forward to it. What I don’t like is saying goodbye to my bag at check-in. Feels like I’ve lost something when I haven’t. May as well start the ‘wow guess what I just ate’ stuff. Just had a Mango Tango. Mango, orange and lime mixed-up into a smoothie. It was good.

12h15 On the plane. Pilot said they tried flying at 31,000 ft but it was a little bumpy so we’re now at 30,000 ft. He was right. It was a bit bumpy. France sailing past below.

15h38cet I’m in Switzerland. Stopped off at Geneva to see the fountain. Still here. I went the wrong way and didn’t really see anything. Gonna arrive at the hotel in the dark now. Ah well.

15h44 Things are looking up. Train to Bern arrives earlier than expected. And it’s a double decker. Yay!

15h49 The only thing I wanted to see in Geneva was the fountain. Luckily, I’ve just seen it while going past on the train.

16h12 Just saw a man underneath a railway bridge in the middle of nowhere playing the trombone.

Lake Léman

15h28 Just left Lausanne. At the top of a steep escarpment covered in vineyards. Setting sun shining on Lake Geneva. Snow covered peaks in the distance.

15h39 OMG! On-train wifi! Ipod won’t connect though. Lady on my right connected via her MacBook though.

15h58 Just realised Switzerland is like Belgium & France in that it runs its trains on the left.

20h30 Arrived at the hotel. Pretty tired. Finally a wifi network I can use. There have been loads all over the place. Just had a Lauterbrunner Rösti followed by a Caramel ice cream. Delicious. Full up.

Balcony View

Tuesday

07h47 An interrupted sleep. Couldn’t wait to get up to see if it had snowed, so got up intermittently through the night to look out the window. It has! And still is! And it’s settling! This is what I came for.

10h18 Wow! I’ve never seen snow like this. Powdery and light. Absolutely pouring in Mürren. Lots of skiers. I should probably learn to ski. The scenery is enough though. Beautiful and bracing. Leaving the mountains now to visit Interlaken. Snow might not be so bad down there. I do love it, but it isn’t great for sightseeing. I can barely keep my eyes open.

12h24 Just finished lunch underneath a pagoda in a small Japanese garden in Interlaken. Town is quieter than expected. Nice walk, but not bucket loads to do or see. Still heavy snow even at this level. Not settling though. If this were the UK, there’d be people abandoning their cars at the side of the road in tears by now. The Swiss (admittedly more used to such weather conditions) just sweep the snow to one side and get on with it.

Brienzersee

15h39 Back at hotel to have a rest. Went to Brienz and Wilderswil. Both very nice. Some beautiful lakeside views of the mountains from Brienz. The water was crystal clear and glowed almost turquoise. Snow still coming down outside. Gonna play a bit of Nintendo and then have a walk along the valley.

17h51 Went on one of the walks I discovered on my last visit to the valley. Took a lot of the same photos I took before, only this time with 10cm of snow. Going down to eat shortly. Before I do, a rest while watching Flight of the Conchords on my iPod.

20h27 Currently sat in the lobby of the hotel on the net. Went for a short walk to see the Staubbach Waterfall lit up. I don’t know how they manage to light an entire valley wall so uniformly. Tired.

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